Please Note: The City of Vancouver, where this interview was conducted, is on the unceded territories of three First Nations: the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh
This interview is about Istanbul’s Tarlabaşı neighborhood, where a decade-long urban transformation project continues to shape politics of the city, impacts the lives of residents, and reveals the political economy of Turkish construction businesses. Alize Arıcan tells us about her award-winning research on how delays shift power dynamics between builders and politicians, and how communities living around the construction site make use of these delays to remain in the neighborhood. She argues that delays should be understood not as failures of urban transformation, but as generating new forms of accumulation and dispossession, as well as resistance to these processes. As plans for residential luxury buildings and business complexes displace neighborhood residents including Kurdish and Roma communities, West African immigrants, Middle Eastern refugees, and trans sex workers, those who are still living in the neighborhood come up with strategies to remain resilient. We talk about a range of issues tied to urban transformation in Turkey’s cities, including: historical landmarking and property expropriation, displacement of marginalized communities who depend on informal economies, long-term relationships between companies and the government, the pervasive practice of subcontracting, and the effects of the current economic downturn.
From Home to Real Estate: Urban Redevelopment on the Axis of Speculation in Istanbul
Ekümenopolis and Beyond (Podcast in Turkish with English translation of transcript)
Networks of Disposession
It is About the Park: A Struggle For Turkey’s Cities
Bio-Istanbul: A Speculative, Segregationist, and Sustainable Urbanism
Meydan Politics: Taksim in Flux After Gezi
Alize Arıcan is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is currently a Visiting Affiliate with the Anthropology department at the University of Texas-Austin. Her research examines the politics of time as it intersects with urban transformation and care, in its broadest sense. Her work has appeared in entanglements and beyond.istanbul, among other public platforms, and is forthcoming in City & Society. For more information, see www.alizearican.com
Cihan Tekay is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is writing her dissertation on the political economy of Turkey’s electrical infrastructure during the early 20th century, for which she received Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship. She is a co-editor of the Turkey Page at Jadaliyya.
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